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lifespan of an inflatable

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  • lifespan of an inflatable

    how long is an inflatable good for?I'm looking at an older Zodiac-Hypalon I believe.What do you look for in determining condition-apart from leaks.


  • #2
    Re: lifespan of an inflatable

    I would say about 5 years depending on how you take care of it .....
    __________________________
    ... THE MAXIMUM HORSEPOWER IS NEVER ENOUGH ...

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    • #3
      Re: lifespan of an inflatable

      I have a 1990 Avon-(hypalon)- No leaks, 1 smal patch- so far so good. I've had it about 3 years and was well cared for by previous owners.

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: lifespan of an inflatable

        so-apart from obvious leaks and cracks-what do you look for in determining condition?The seller says the boat was used in the summer on a lake and stored in its bag the rest of the year out of the sunlight.He has a 5 hp Honda 4 stoke out board used under the same conditions and is looking for $1100 for the package.

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        • #5
          Re: lifespan of an inflatable

          Is the material soft/flexible, discolored/faded, valves in good shape, seams look sound not peeling back, few patches/scrapes, transom in good shape. In orher words has it been taken care of stored out ogf the sun etc.

          I will say, I think I hold a minority view on this board about longevity. I believe Hypalon holds up much better than PVC and mine doesn't get a lot of use, but I do use it on the coast and up to about 2ft seas. So far holding up well.

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          • #6
            Re: lifespan of an inflatable

            It is not always easy to tell if a boat has water leaks, particularly while sitting in someones driveway! I would suggest you do what I did to locate leaks and check the seams in my boat, inflate the boat and fill it with a couple of inches of water (being careful not to splash water outside of the boat). Small leaks in the floorboard and water seeping at seams on the transom will be obvious.

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            • #7
              Re: lifespan of an inflatable

              It's not unusual to see 20 year old Hypalon boats. It's very unusual to see 10 year old PVC boats. Virtually all Zodiacs are PVC, not Hypalon.
              Elvin
              My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

              The 3 Rules:

              1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
              2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
              3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                So the Saturn are also PVC, is it worth the difference in $$$ to get the zodiac pvc vs the saturn pvc?
                You only need two tools in life - WD-40 - and - DUCT TAPE - If it doesn't move and should. Use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the DUCT TAPE.

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                • #9
                  Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                  Material aside look at the differences. A dealer network for Zodiac that will perform warranty repairs versus no dealer network for Saturn. If you want a compromise I would look at Mercury. In between on price with service available in every(almost) state.
                  Elvin
                  My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

                  The 3 Rules:

                  1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
                  2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
                  3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                    Pardon my ignorance here-but I asked the man selling the Zodiac whether it was PVC or Hypalon-and he said he couldn't see anywhere on the boat what material it was...so how do you tell?

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                      In general, Zodiac does not produce a boat in Hypalon that is available to the public, so it has a 99.999 percent chance of being PVC.
                      Elvin
                      My answers are like Zen...It may not be the answer you want, but it is generally the answer you need.

                      The 3 Rules:

                      1) Look in your service manual first...Then ask me if it is correct.
                      2) Understand that your desire to repair your engine does not mean that you have the ability to do so.
                      3) If you are confused, take your engine into a dealer..Then let them be confused...At least, in theory, they sent someone to outboard 101.

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                        What's the year and model?
                        If it is a consumer model after about 1990 it is going to be PVC. I understand that there are different qualitiy levels of PVC. I have not had direct experience with Zodiacs but my impression is that they use a high quality material which MAY hold up better than the many of the Asia models. Zodiac seems to have a good reputation and there are satisfied owners out there. Certainly see many more older Zodiacs for sale than Asia brands. Again not speaking from experience and trying to "flush out" some opinions. Maybe someone else can comment.

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                        • #13
                          Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                          Of course if its Deejaycee's boat-life will be measured in weeks not years no matter what its made of!

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                          • #14
                            Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                            My MKI and MKIII Futura are 21 years old with no major repairs. Patches here and there but that's the fault of the operator. Keep them free of grit and gravel, dry and out of the sun and you'll have em forever.

                            At the end of the day, they are not that hard to repair.

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: lifespan of an inflatable

                              I have a 98 zodiac futura made with pvc. I inspected a number of used boats before I bought it. I have to admit that a well made hypalon boat (like the dink we used with our Westsail) will stand up to exposure and abuse much better than a pvc boat. It is also true that many of the hypalon boats I looked at had been directly exposed to excessive amounts of sun and were in really bad shape. Certainly a well cared for garage stored boat is the best bet regardless of material type.

                              The tube seams on the zodiac pvc boats are heat welded. I only saw heat welded seam issues on pvc boats that were totally sunbaked. I have never had issues with my tubes. However, the speed tubes, the pvc bottom seams and the transom are just glued in place. I looked at a number of older pvc boats that all had issues with these seams. I would expect them to be an issue at some point on any zodiac. Filling the boat with a few inches of water (the bathtub test) will show that even some pretty good looking boats have water leaking at points along the floor and seeping at the transom. It isn't always obvious without a test. I have repaired my Futura and none of the seams have separated or leaked since (almost two years). I go out to surf in my boat and it takes a pounding running over shoaling swells. I like my pvc boat, but think that anyone buying a used zodiac should expect to do some work on these seams at some point depending on age and exposure.

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